As the nation focuses on Trayvon Martin and the perceived injustice suffered by him, and, by default, every other black person in America, what about the anonymous 16-year-old boy who was shot and killed July 13 in Chicago's South Deering neighborhood? What about the 14-year-old boy shot to death July 2 in the 5000 block of N. West Avenue in Chicago? The 16-year-old boy shot to death June 30 in the 7500 block of South Kingston Avenue in Chicago? Do these kids matter as much as Trayvon Martin does?
As the nation continues to react to the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, I hear people saying there is no justice for Trayvon Martin. However, what does justice looks like? 30 years in jail for Murder 2 for George Zimmerman? Does that bring back Trayvon? Does that heal the shattered heart of a parent who has lost their child? I would argue it does neither of those things.
George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. That's a fact. According to testimony from prosecution witnesses, Trayvon Martin confronted George Zimmerman and knocked Zimmerman down when he punched him. He was beneath Trayvon during their encounter, for it's worth.
I think we can all agree that it is indeed tragic. Even George Zimmerman himself has said as much. The Martins buried their child and I'd venture a guess that no amount of jail time will remedy that.
On the other hand, George Zimmerman, though not convicted of any crime, must live with having taken the life of another human being. I can't imagine that's a burden anyone would want to carry.
Of the people proclaiming Zimmerman's guilt, I bet that better than 90% didn't watch a minute of the trial. They heard none of the evidence presented by either side. They have no idea what a legal standard is, never mind the legal standards that would have to have been met to convict Zimmerman of manslaughter, never mind 2nd degree murder.
So what do they know? They know what the rest of us know. George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old. Zimmerman is Hispanic, Martin black. There was a fight and Trayvon Martin is no longer with us. Those are facts.
Trayvon's mother wanted a jury trial and a jury trial she got. The outcome wasn't guaranteed. It never is.
Guilt or innocence is for a jury of one's peers to decide based on evidence. If the evidence presented fails to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then that jury must render a verdict of not guilty, as they did in George Zimmerman's case. Ours is a society of laws in which public opinion is not evidence. How the public might react to a verdict should have no bearing on any case. Thankfully, this time, it didn't.
Does the name Joseph Jordan ring a bell? He's a 16-year-old boy who died June 15, 2013 in Los Angeles due to multiple gunshot wounds to the torso. http://projects.latimes.com/homicide/post/jordan-joseph-n/ Does Joseph Jordan's death matter less than Trayvon Martin's? Do you even know who Joseph Jordan is? Do you care?
Are you wondering why I'm asking about all these young people you know nothing about? Do you know what they all have in common? They were killed in 2 of America's largest cities, all young black boys, most likely victims of black on black violence. Then again, since "nobody saw [anything]", one can only guess at who might have killed them. Moreover, I bet that you don't have a clue who they are!
Trayvon Martin was one kid! I'm not trying to minimize his life but you haven't heard word one about these kids or their murders and you're not nearly as concerned about the people who shot and killed them as you are about George Zimmerman, are you? Why aren't you?
Instead of marching for social justice, why not spread out in groups and try to talk to neighbors and find answers and remedies for the violence, the poverty, the joblessness and the hopelessness?
Because it's easier to focus on the straw man that is the Zimmerman case than to actually fight for real change. And just in case you're wondering, no this isn't a conversation about gun control, it's a conversation about human life, the apparent lack of respect for it nowadays and the conversations we allow the media to control in America.
Black "leaders" who talk about how "nobody" seems to value black lives need a mirror. They should be on the ground in their communities, not on talk shows whining about how nobody cares. As an aside, leading and agitating are 2 completely different things; leaders is in quotations because I don't see leadership, I see agitation.
But I digress. Did you now that 535 people were murdered in Chicago in 2012? 2,200 were shot. Do you care about all of those people, most likely wounded or killed by illegal guns, most involving gangs? Are any of them less important than Trayvon?
Where are "community organizers" Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson as black on black violence takes lives young and old daily?
Where is the outrage? Hell, even tepid, faux anger would do. But alas, it, too, is absent when it comes to talking about conditions in America's inner cities and black on black crime. The River of Denial regarding black on black crime and life in the inner cities of America is as wide as it is deep!
But bring up Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman and all hell breaks loose, "facts" spewing from mouths quiet on the topic of urban, inner city violence but uproarious as permanent victims of racial injustice.
George Michael Zimmerman was born on October 5, 1983, in Manassas, Virginia, and is the son of Gladys Zimmerman, who was born in Peru, and Robert Zimmerman, Sr., a retired Virginia magistrate. He was raised as a Catholic, in a family that his father has described as "multiracial." | Photo: |
How is it that most people, regardless of where they were that fateful evening, seem to know exactly what happened between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin but in violence-plagued neighborhoods, "nobody [sees anything]"? Black people want the violence that rips at the very fabric of their communities to stop but when nobody seems to know or see anything, the criminals who control the war-torn, blood stained streets know they are invisible and in charge. So when does it stop?
Why is it that everybody from ordinary urban black people to celebrities are flipping out over the death, albeit tragic, of one child but all the kids in East LA, Compton, East St. Louis, Chicago and other urban areas throughout the country are buried and then never discussed because "nobody saw [anything]" and "nobody wants trouble"?
I have had a few people ask me where I stand on this case. Am I "with Trayvon" or "with Zimmerman"? I stand with the law, without emotion. Now, Al Sharpton and civil rights leaders from coast to coast are planning marches and rallies on Saturday. No doubt, they'll be in front of TV cameras, beating the social justice drum, asking the DOJ to look into this case further, because the FBI saying there is zero evidence of racial profiling and no evidence of civil rights violations just isn't good enough.
While they're rallying, in front of TV cameras, how many more nameless people, children and adults alike will die in urban streets, far away from TV cameras?